The Abc’s of Dachshund Training
How could anyone possibly argue that Dachshunds are not one of the all-time cutest dog breeds in existence? But don’t be fooled! Dachshunds, though incredibly cute, are not as easy to train as one might think. Cute little hot dogs? I think not! They are remarkably feisty and stubborn considering their almost comical shape and stature. Let’s have a closer look, why don’t we!
What Makes Dachshunds Different from All the Other Cute, Appealing Breeds in the World
Don’t be fooled into thinking that Dachshund Training is going to be easy. These little powerpacks require a great deal of patience as they happen to be among the most stubborn, feisty and independent dog breeds you’ll come across. Being determined by nature, they prefer to make their own decisions, go where and do what they want, and they’ll happily try to outlast you when it comes to getting their own way.
Try for one moment to ignore the “cuteness” factor and remember that your Dachshund is still a dog, an animal, and just like any other domesticated animal needs to be treated properly. Once you give in to the temptation to start treating them like your little baby, you automatically lose your Pack Leader status and become relegated to the rank of your Dachshund’s “pet human”.
Apart from suffering the torment of being harrassed by your wayward Dachshund, you also need to bear in mind that if you fail to train him correctly from the start, you will actually be putting him at risk of injury. Let me explain. Being the interesting shape that they are, Dachshunds have understandably vulnerable backs. If they climb on things or jump around too much, they are likely to cause themselves significant injuries. They possess far less suppleness and flexibility than other breeds and as a consequence, are less able to manouevre themselves in time into a safe landing position. Be assured however, that jumping and climbing, like other undesireable behaviors, are easy to correct.
The Basics Key to Dachshund Training
Providing your Dachshund pup with plenty of opportunity to exercise from an early age will help burn off excess energy – they were after all, bred as hunting dogs to dig out vermin from their burrows. If a Dachshund’s energy becomes pent-up, you will regret not making the effort to take them out for a run, as they will do their best to disrupt the household.
If your Dachshund gets to burn off that excess energy, on the other hand, your training efforts will be far more successful. Don’t forget, though, you do still need to be firm with him and carefully plan out your training routine.
Tips for Training Your Dachshund
Teach them the Basics first – Dachshunds have limitations, as already mentioned, when it comes to jumping and climbing, so start with the basic, comfortable commands like “sit”, “stay”, “down” and “come”. Whenever you need them to go up or down stairs, carry them to reduce strain on their backs and joints. Above all, never allow them to jump on furniture, not just because it’s unacceptable behavior, but because of the risk of injury.
Keep the Sessions Short – 5 minute sessions are fine for Dachshund training. If your Dachshund makes up his mind he’s had enough and doesn’t want to listen to you anymore, you have a hard time getting through to him and you’ll lose ground. In that important 5 minutes, you want to get as much achieved as you can before you lose his attention. Always finish on a positive note.
Don’t Underestimate the Benefits of Clicker Training – Dachshunds respond particularly well to clicker training and though they don’t have great hearing, they do respond well to the short, sharp sounds from a clicker. This method fits quite well into the 5 minute attention span mentioned above.
Rewards – Punishing stubborn behavior never achieved anything, whether applied to a human or a dog. With their inherently stubborn nature, Dachshunds will more likely respond to harsh punishment with aggression, rather than submission. It’s generally better practice to use positive reinforcement to reward your Dachshund’s good behavior. They absolutely love physical attention, not to mention doggy treats as a reward to pleasing their master.
Dachshund training is a trying experience. It will take time, effort and loads of patience from you, but most of all, don’t ever let your bundle of cuteness get the better of you. Once you give in to those puppy-dog eyes, you lose your pack leader status and you’ll have an up-hill battle trying to get it back.